Developing a digital intervention for cancer survivors: An evidence, theory and person-based approach

Katherine J. Bradbury, Mary Steele, Teresa Corbett, Adam WA Geraghty, Adele Krusche, Elena Heber, Steph Easton, Tara Cheetham-Blake, Joanna Slodkowska-Barabasz, Andre Matthias Müller, Kirsten Smith, Laura J Wilde, Liz Payne, Karmpaul Singh, Roger Bacon, Tamsin Burford, Kevin Summers, Lesley Turner, Alison Richardson, Eila WatsonClaire Foster, Paul Little, Lucy Yardley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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This paper illustrates a rigorous approach to developing digital interventions using an evidence-, theory- and person-based approach. Intervention planning included a rapid scoping review which identified cancer survivors’ needs, including barriers and facilitators to intervention success. Review evidence informed the intervention’s Guiding Principles, theory-based behavioural analysis and logic model. The intervention was optimised based on feedback on a prototype intervention through interviews with cancer survivors and focus groups with NHS staff and cancer charity workers. Interviews with cancer survivors highlighted barriers to engagement, such as concerns about physical activity worsening fatigue. Focus groups highlighted concerns about support appointment length and how to support distressed participants. Feedback informed intervention modifications, to maximise acceptability, feasibility and likelihood of behaviour change. Our systematic method for understanding user views enabled us to anticipate and address important barriers to engagement. This methodology may be useful to others developing digital interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number85 (2019)
Number of pages13
Journalnpj Digital Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2019

Structured keywords

  • Physical and Mental Health


  • cancer
  • cancer survivorship
  • digital intervention
  • Intervention development
  • person-based approach
  • qualitative methods
  • quality of Life
  • oncology


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